The collections of the Misericordia Archives are a microcosm of women’s lives in the twentieth century United States. This service-learning project in the fall of 2017 enabled students to situate the rich history of campus life within broader events taking place in the United States. The entries below comprise students’ reflections on this experience.
Misericordia regularly sends our students out into the community to build their professional experience and serve others. Since 2016, MU has sent several students to internships in Washington, DC; Baltimore, MD; Scranton, PA; and Eckley, PA. Read more about our students’ work in area historic sites, museums, and other related public history endeavors below.
During my time in Washington I studied at American University’s School of Professional and Extended Studies, focusing on International Relations and U.S. Foreign Policy. This was an interesting time to be in D.C., as the Obama administration left office and a more controversial one took the reins. My colleagues and I attended various briefings at embassies and think tanks. We would go to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), The Korean Economics Institute, the Brookings Institute, the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), and many others. These briefings were mostly televised and gave students an opportunity to network with the D.C. wonks in our field of study. These briefings also presented opportunities for students to pose challenging questions to panelists. The International Relations and U.S. Foreign Policy students and I were from Colombia, Germany, Japan, Norway, Rwanda, Egypt, Tunisia and many other countries. The program truly widened the scope of my understanding of the international system, while allowing me to engage in a cultural exchange with students from all over the globe. I took two (4) credit seminars, one (4) credit internship class and internship itself, and one (4) credit research thesis project that involved conducting interviews with professionals and culminated in a 35-50 page paper. I interned all day Monday and Tuesday, and half a day Wednesday. The other half of Wednesday was classes and Thursday and Friday were classes and/or briefings. I interned at the Truman Center for National Policy. In the little spare time I had, I made some great friends and explored the historic parts of D.C. If students wish to get a real taste of the professional world, D.C. is the place to do it. This semester undoubtedly added variables into my geostrategic calculus and the way that I view events and trends that are affecting the international world order.
–Wyatt Scott, April 2017
Recently, Alex Lester published an essay in the online journal, The Braille Monitor, an organ published by the National Federation of the Blind. Alex served as the inaugural intern in a collaborative partnership between MU and the NFB. He is a philosophy major and will graduate from MU in 2017.
“My experience in our nation’s capital was the best experience of my life. When arriving in Washington DC I didn’t realize it yet, but this semester would change my life forever. Suddenly, I was right in the heart of our country. From interning on Capitol Hill, to watching Bono testify in front of Congress, to doing the Waltz at a Viennese Ball, the opportunities were endless. I have made friends from all over the world, visited five different embassies- including the Embassy of Austria- and met a number of foreign diplomats; at times it felt like I was actually studying abroad.
“My education, both formally and informally, was enhanced in ways you cannot find anywhere else. As a student in Washington DC, I was learning from prominent scholars and practitioners that jumped at the opportunity to teach me something new. This semester was truly unique and diverse. Even though it is now time to say goodbye to the amazing friends I have made and the city itself, I know that this is just a temporary goodbye.”
–John Eisenhauer, GLNS major, MU class of 2017
John spent the spring 2016 semester studying at American University and interning in DC as part of a special partnership between MU and AU. Learn more about the Semester in DC program here.